How to Soundproof a Bathroom in Large Facilities
In large facilities, such as schools, government buildings, and restaurants, bathrooms can be very noisy. Without the right soundproofing, people outside of the bathrooms may have to listen to toilets flushing, water running, and other distracting sounds. What’s more, people inside the bathrooms may not feel that they have adequate privacy.
If you want to prevent a large bathroom’s sounds from seeping out into the rest of your facility, you need to implement the right soundproofing solutions. Luckily, there are many you can employ, whether you’re building your soundproof bathroom from scratch or retrofitting it after the fact.
If you’re wondering how to soundproof a bathroom, you’re in the right place. Below, we’ll break down the steps involved in bathroom soundproofing and highlight some of the best soundproofing materials to use.
How to Soundproof a Bathroom in 4 Easy Steps
When it comes to soundproofing and learning how to block sound between rooms, the main goal is to put more dense mass between the room producing sound and the rooms you want to keep quiet.
With this in mind, here are four steps for soundproofing bathrooms in large facilities:
Step 1: Soundproof Your Bathroom Walls
Regardless of whether you’re starting from scratch or remodeling to create a soundproof bathroom, you can enhance its soundproofing by installing insulation inside each wall.
If your bathroom is already built, you can improve its soundproofing simply by following these steps:
- Seal any cracks – Even small cracks or holes in your bathroom walls can allow sound to leak out to the other side. Thus, one of the easiest ways to secure your soundproofing is to seal these cracks. Once they’re properly sealed, you can give the wall a fresh paint job to cover the sealant.
- Fill gaps around electrical boxes – Sometimes, small gaps exist between your bathroom walls and electrical boxes or light fixture hookups. While tiny in size, these gaps can allow a lot of sounds to escape, just like cracks in the wall.You can fill in these gaps by installing putty pads or using Titebond Acoustical Seal (a sound-insulating, caulk-like substance). Just make sure to turn off the power before you attempt this step.
- Install another layer of drywall with a decoupling agent like Green Glue Viscoelastic Dampening Compound – If you have the opportunity, doubling up on your bathroom’s drywall can make a big difference in creating soundproof walls. That’s because soundproofing ultimately comes down to increasing the mass between two spaces. The thicker your drywall is, the better it will be able to block sound.
- Add aesthetic wall paneling – If you can’t install more drywall, you can increase the mass of some areas of your existing wall by adding decorative paneling to it. There are so many wall paneling options to choose from, from wainscotting to shaker style. The right wall paneling product may provide the perfect design addition to your facility’s bathroom and enhance its soundproofing at the same time.
- Install resilient channels, noise isolation clips, or mass-loaded vinyl (MLV) – Resilient channels and sound clips offer an affordable way to mitigate sound transmission between walls and ceilings. They can dampen a sound wave by increasing the distance between your bathroom wall and its insulation. Specifically, sound isolation clips block sound and vibrational transfer by decoupling the wall from the rest of the space. Meanwhile, MLV can increase the mass of your soundproof walls. This vinyl sheeting includes metal particles which are fantastic at blocking sound.
As you can see, there are many ways to fortify your facility’s bathroom walls to keep sound from spilling out into the rest of the building.
Step 2: Soundproof Your Bathroom Doors
When it comes to bathrooms, doors are often the worst culprit behind unwanted sound leakage. You can soundproof your doors by:
- Installing a solid core, soundproof door – In many cases, outfitting your facilities’ bathroom with a thick, solid wood door can fix the majority of your issues. After all, standard hollow core doors simply aren’t dense enough to keep sound from escaping from the bathroom. Luckily, affordable, sturdy doors are just as easy to install.
- Sealing gaps around the door – Once you have a soundproof door in place, you can fortify your soundproofing efforts by adding door seals around its perimeter. Door gaps can create an air-tight seal between your door and the door frame, preventing any pesky sound wave from sneaking through.
Step 3: Soundproof Your Bathroom Floors
The next portion of your facility’s bathroom to tackle is its floors. Many public bathrooms have floors that are made of tile, ceramic, or wood.
These types of hard flooring can be loud, especially if your facility’s visitors wear noisy shoes. Without proper soundproofing, these click-clacking noises may be heard by people outside of the bathroom or below it if it’s located on a second story.
As with bathroom walls, installing a second layer of concrete and plywood under your flooring can strengthen its soundproofing.
Step 4: Soundproof Your Bathroom Plumbing
Lastly, you can address any unwanted noise coming from your bathroom by insulating its plumbing system. You can do so by wrapping the pipes in thick, noise-blocking material. This soundproofing strategy should mitigate any annoying sounds of toilets flushing outside of your bathroom.
If your bathroom’s pipes aren’t easily accessible, you can insulate them by installing a dense, cotton material in the empty space within the drywall surrounding them.
If your bathroom’s toilets are on the older side, there may be some outstanding plumbing issues amplifying their sounds. In this case, you may want to have your plumbing checked out by a professional.
Best Materials for Soundproofing a Bathroom
Next, let’s take a look at some of the best soundproofing materials you can use during your bathroom soundproofing project:
- Drywall Green Glue – At Acoustical Surfaces Inc. (ASI), our Green Glue Viscoelastic Damping Compound is a must-have product for soundproofing. This non-toxic substance can dampen sound between layers of drywall. In fact, it boasts better dampening levels than any other caulking compound on the market. It’s also more affordable than similar products. Better yet, applying Green Glue is very easy. There’s no mixing required. You can simply squeeze it out from the tube, and apply it directly to your soundproof drywall.
- Soundproof door – If you want to upgrade your facility’s bathroom doors, we carry high-performing Soundproof Interior Doors at affordable prices. Our doors boast Sound Transmission Class (STC) values up to 56, which are considered excellent.1 You can even customize the finish of your door and select your favorite hardware for it. Plus, we can create your door in any size you need. It will arrive pre-hung and assembled. It also comes with adjustable soundproof jambs and seals.
- Door seal kit – Door seal kits include all of the items you need to install door seals. At ASI, our Adjustable Acoustic Door Seals can be cut to suit bathroom doors of all sizes. They’re affordable, durable, and easy to install. Depending on the severity of your bathroom door’s sound leakage, you can opt for the standard door seals or heavy-duty ones. We offer both types of door seals in clear, dark bronze, and gold.
- Sound silencer wall panels and ceiling tiles – Sound Silencer™ are cleanable sound panels that you can install in your bathroom to enhance its noise control. These acoustic panels can be applied directly onto the surfaces of your bathroom’s walls and ceilings. At ASI, our sound silencers are crafted using Rigid Porous ARPRO Acoustical (P.E.P.P.). They’re water-, bacteria-, and fungi-resistant, as well as Class A fire-rated.2 They also boast impressive STC and Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC) ratings.
- Pipe wrapping insulation – If you want to cut back on noisy plumbing sounds, our Pipe Noise S.T.O.P.™ wrapping insulation is the perfect solution. This pipe insulation can reduce sound transmission from your facility’s bathroom, enhance thermal insulation, and improve your facility’s health and safety. You can use this type of acoustic insulation on ductwork, PVC, and cast iron pipes.
- RSIC-1 sound isolation clips – RSIC-1 Sound Isolation clips can keep noise from traveling through your facility’s bathroom walls or ceilings. Our RSIC-1 clips have provided soundproofing improvements of up to 20 STC points. You can use these clips to retrofit existing walls and ceilings, making them an ideal soundproofing tool for bathrooms.
Why Soundproof a Bathroom?
Now that you know the steps and materials involved in soundproofing a bathroom, you have everything you need to get started.
Once you finish your project, you can rest assured that the people who visit your school, restaurant, or government building will feel comfortable when they use your bathroom. Better yet, those who walk through or work at your facility won’t have to listen to annoying plumbing or bathroom noise all day.
Acoustical Surfaces: Soundproofing Experts at Your Service
Thanks to the soundproofing treatments we highlighted above, you no longer need to put up with a noisy bathroom. If you need help determining what’s best for your unique space, the soundproofing experts at Acoustical Surfaces are happy to assist you.
We’ve helped facilities of all sizes pinpoint the best solutions for the past 35 years. We offer over 400 specialty soundproofing and noise control products, so you can rest assured that we’ll set you up with the right tools for the job.
Want to get your soundproofing project underway? Reach out to our team today.
- Science Direct. Sound Transmission Class. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/sound-transmission-class
- Louisiana.gov. Flame-Spread Ratings.http://sfm.dps.louisiana.gov/doc_flamespread.html